New York Schools: The Locution of Location, 1945-1970
This digital humanities collaborative research-teaching project focuses on the postwar Manhattan poets, visual artists, musicians, and dancers who have come to be known as the New York School. In its broadest construction, the Locution of Location is a mapping project: the central story of the course is the story of how a “scene” unfolds at a particular place during a particular time. One aspect of the course, then, will directly involve mapmaking: students will create digital maps showing the locations of the various studios, galleries, cafes, bars, theaters, movie houses, and loft performance spaces that played a role in the development of the postwar avant garde in New York, comparing the patterns of cultural development and flows revealed in these maps with similarly “mappable” patterns of population distribution (income brackets, age, race, etc.) and residential and commercial development. A second key aspect of the course will involve the creation of “learning capsules”: digital compendia of video, music, poetry, and visual art from the period, organized in searchable format that allows for a “virtual” re-creation of the kind of inter-arts cross-fertilization that typified the period. The recently-unveiled “dance capsules” of the Merce Cunningham Trust will play an important role in this aspect of the course, providing material for study as well as a model for archival projects in other arts media.